I received this email, and I first thought it was a complaint about us. But no, it was about another hospital in town, and the writer was drawing a contrast with our place! We continue to do our mystery shopper program to learn directly about these kinds of service glitches. I am not claiming perfection at our place, but we keep trying to do better and better.
In September, we were very pleased to hold a teleconference explaining our mystery shopper methodology as part of helping 14 hospitals around the country who had requested information after reading the June Boston Globe story. None were from Boston.
Upon driving up to the ambulatory clinic area we encountered heavy traffic, which required 4 Boston PD officers to direct traffic. On pulling into the ambulatory entrance valet parking area, we were told by the valet attendant to move on as the valet parking was full. He did not volunteer an alternative, but when I asked him I was directed to go to the parking structure [a short drive away]. So, I dropped my family member patient off (as she had been instructed to arrive 15 minutes prior to her appointment time, and it was exactly that time) and proceeded to the garage. However, when I reached there, the entrance to the garage was blocked off with a barrier and a sign saying that the lot was full. There was no mention of where patients should go. Had I been a patient from out of the area, I have no idea where I would have parked.
Once I did park and get into the hospital, I had trouble finding the right clinic, and a clinic front desk staff member who I asked had no idea either, offering only the explanation "I just started working here 3 days ago and so don't know these things yet."
On finally reaching the right clinic, I found my family member patient still in the waiting room. She had not been told by the front desk that the doctor was running behind. However, we learned from other patients who had been waiting for up to an hour and a half that she was running behind and that it is possible to give the front desk staff a cell phone number and to leave to get some lunch. We were not offered this option, but when we went to the front desk to ask, we were allowed to do this. On coming back, we still had to wait, and were finally called in at 1PM (for an appointment time that was for 11:00AM!)